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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Lakers take game two in overtime

LOS ANGELES (AP) — History was there for the Orlando Magic, but Courtney Lee blew his shot at it.

A shot that couldn't have been much easier.

Lee missed a layup that would have won Game 2 of the NBA finals at the fourth-quarter buzzer, and the Magic lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 101-96 in overtime Sunday night, falling into a 2-0 hole.

A perfectly executed play should have given the Magic their first finals victory. Instead, it joins Nick Anderson's botched free throws from the 1995 finals as the biggest heartbreaking moments in franchise history.

The Magic had the ball on the sideline with the game tied at 88 and 0.6 seconds left. Rashard Lewis set a pick on Kobe Bryant that freed Lee to cut to the basket, and Hedo Turkoglu lofted a pass that led Lee right under the basket.

Lee leaped to catch it, but perhaps bothered by Pau Gasol rushing over, threw it off the glass too hard as time expired.

The rookie guard immediately put his hands over his head in disbelief and walked toward the bench in that same pose as teammates came onto the court to console him. Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy had a pained look on his face, perhaps aware his team had just blown the best chance it was going to get to seize home-court advantage before heading back to Florida.

The loss Sunday came on the 14th anniversary of Orlando's NBA finals debut — an equally painful one. Poised to beat the defending champion Houston Rockets in Game 1, the Magic watched Anderson brick four consecutive free throws and ended up losing 120-118 in overtime.

Same date, same painful June 7 ending for the Magic.

by the associated press

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